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UNESCO’s Michel Batisse Award For 2023

UNESCO’s Michel Batisse Award For 2023:

The Director of the Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park recently bagged UNESCO’s Michel Batisse Award for 2023.

  • Designated as a Biosphere Reserve, the Gulf of Mannar is one of the biologically richest coastal regions in all of mainland of India.
  • It is the first Marine Biosphere Reserve in the South and South East Asia.
  • It is located 160 km between Dhanushkodi and Thoothukudi in Tamil Nadu.
  • This Marine Biosphere Reserve encompasses a chain of 21 islands (2 islands already submerged) and adjoining coral reefs off the coasts.
  • Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park, established in 1980, boasts three surreal aquatic ecosystems – mangroves, seagrass, and coral reef.
  • The intertidal areas are dominated by mangroves belonging to the Rhizophora, Avicennia, Bruguiera genus.
  • Seagrass is another prolific species, about 12 species exist here.
  • About 150 species of seaweeds to are found in the waters. There is one endemic plant, a flowering herb called Pemphis acidula on the parklands.
  • Dugong, an endangered marine mammal, is the main attraction of the Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park.
  • It has recorded some 117 species of hard Coral. It is home to different vulnerable whales like humpback whales, blue whales, fin whales, etc.